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With season two of Narcos hitting our screens the other day, once again reminding us of the devious and harrowing life of the world's largest drug lord, it's an apt time to look at the state of the city in which he grew up, Medellín, in Colombia.
Channel 4's Latin Correspondent Guillermo Galdos has done as exposé on the city, and it highlights the reality of daily life in the troubled city, including its growing sex trade industry.
This also includes girls as young as nine being used for sexual pleasure and run by organised gangs out to exploit vulnerable and desperate people.
Once dubbed the 'cocaine capital of the world', it's new mantle is just as disconcerting.
Run in the main by the La Oficina, 'The Office', children are among a myriad of women selling their bodies through organised crime. 'The Office' is one of the country's biggest criminal organisations and also known for human trafficking and, unsurprisingly, selling drugs.
Gang members grooming girls. Credit: Channel 4
Escobar was reportedly keen on sleeping with girls that had not previously had sex, and now Galdos claims tourists are coming over to sleep with virgins for a premium price.
In this video excerpt, Galdos explains how the girls are groomed and manipulated by gang members and how quickly they could be sold as virgins.
Credit: Channel 4
In an article for Channel 4, Galdos spoke to some of the girls on the street.
One of the girls, Daniella, 16, explained how people are coming from all over the world for Medellín's services: "You get Chinese, Brazilians, Europeans. Foreigners come from everywhere, all kinds of men.
"They don't want girls who are 16 or 17. They want girls of 11, 10 or nine."
Daniella. Credit: Channel 4
Gangs reportedly pinpoint girls as virgins that they can sell to the highest bidder through grooming and even kidnap.
As part of the exposé, Garbos visited Paul Brailsford in jail. The Briton is convicted of having sex with children in Colombia in 2011 and is serving a 20-year jail sentence, sleeping with a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old.
Brailsford. Credit: Channel 4
He denies that he knew they were underage, but Garbos interviewed the 12-year-old he was convicted of sleeping with, now 16, and she explained how Brailsford had groomed her, effectively stating his denials were untrue.
Medellín continues to have huge drug problems, as well as rife prostitution. It's not accurate to say that this is all the legacy of Escobar, but him running his drug empire certainly did not do the city any favours.
A prostitute chats to a potential punter in Medellin. Credit: Channel 4
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